Nancy Newman remarks at installation of President Eisgruber

Installation of Princeton’s 20th President: Welcome from the Alumni

By Nancy J. Newman, Class of 1978 and president of the Princeton Alumni Association

Sept. 22, 2013

President Eisgruber, Trustees, Faculty, Staff, Students and all of the Princeton Community, Tigers of All Stripes: Greetings from the Alumni of Princeton University!

Consistent with academic convention, I stand before you today wearing the robes of the institution that conferred my advanced degree, but there is nothing crimson about the message I am here to deliver. Today’s palette is orange and black, and beneath every different colored robe that you see resplendent here before you today, beat hearts of tigers. And if you allow me in the spirit of this fundamentally orange and black gathering to throw convention to the wind, I will accessorize my crimson regalia with the perfect embellishment for this very special occasion. 

President Eisgruber, undergraduate alumnus class of 1983, and already honorary member of many other Princeton classes, I bring you greetings and congratulations from your more than 88,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins. Yes, you are a member of a very large family, a diverse, global and multigenerational family, and as with any family, this comes with all the advantages and disadvantages, rights and responsibilities of a family member; even, dare I suggest, it comes with a Princeton family Honor Code to guide you and us during your Presidency.

Brother Chris, we alumni pledge our honor to continue to support you and the University. We will be your eager counselors, ambassadors and cheerleaders. We will serve as Trustees, give of our resources, interview prospective students, offer career advice, provide opportunities for community service and alumni education, and spread the gospel of orange and black throughout the land as we vigorously express our opinions and maintain the strong Princeton culture of giving back and coming back.

We pledge our honor to be there for you this year and to gather the family in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York City, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. And as soon as we know where else you are going next year, we will be there too.

We pledge our honor to support you. Like any family, we are proud of you, we will even live vicariously through you, we will exalt in your successes and we will assist you with your troubles.
And, yes, we pledge our honor to challenge you, even criticize you and sometimes disagree with you, but always with the best interests of you and Princeton at heart. And we promise, at the end of the day, to never go to bed angry.

In turn, we know that you, Brother Chris, will honor your family of alumni both here and abroad, as your leadership takes Princeton University to the next level in teaching, research and service to the nation and the world. And if you ever feel the need to show your true colors more boldly, you are most welcome to borrow my orange and black boa.

So, President Eisgruber, on this day our most favored son, on behalf of your family, I pledge the support of all alumni to you and to Princeton for many years to come!